Second Thots

Sometimes one has to step back, take pause, and have some "second thots"

Thursday, February 07, 2008


Polls Schmolls

How many times have you heard pundits declare that Stephen Harper's "meanness" is bringing the party down?

Well, according to the polls, it appears as though it's Harper's leadership that is keeping the party up.

How to explain? Easy. The party numbers most often cited in the press — the ones that show some version of a 35-30 standing between the Tories and Grits respectively — are the result of one thing and one thing only: party branding.

In other words, if you were to switch the party brands, and Harper was a Liberal while Dion was a Conservative, this thing wouldn't even be close.

And if I'm a Liberal, and I start thinking about it a little bit, I start thinking that things might not turn out so well in the next election.


Well, right now, the floor for the Liberals appears to be somewhere around 30% support. I wouldn't count on that floor holding too well during the course of an election campaign, where party brand means less, and specific campaign themes revolving around the leaders matter more.

Does Dion strike you as somebody who can use personal leadership and style to set the theme in an election campaign? Didn't think so. And I think that should worry Liberals. Maybe that's just me.

Right on Dennis .. and current polling may only reflect how Canadians voted in the last election, and haven't bothered to reassess their how they voted in the last election.

Once the next election begins, Canadians will look and listen to the leaders, and then determine how they will vote this time.

Another problem for the Dion Liberals is that most grassroots Liberal members did not want Dion as their leader .. preferring Ignatief by almost 2 to one. I'm betting that many Liberal party workers will not want to campaign for a Dion-led party and just stay home.


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